THE ARCHANGEL CATHEDRAL

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The Archangel`s Cathedral

The Archangel Cathedral was erected in 1505-1508 by Italian architect Aleviz Novy. The majestic building of the main Great Princes' cathedral and burial place has always amazed contemporaries with its peculiarity. 

The facades of the Archangel's Cathedral are created in geometrically clear and plane order decoration combined with typically Russian six-poled cross-and-cupola structure with canonic 5 domes and covering by zakomaras.

The zakomaras have a look of big relief shells. Once they were decorated with gothic phialas and separated from the main building with an entablement.

Round-shaped windows-roundels in the central zakomara of the western portal are unusual for Russian churches. Originally, the two colours of the facades — red-brick walls and white details of the dйcor – accented their order construction.

Quite new was the construction of the main entrance as a perspective portal placed inside a deep loggia forming the cathedral's porch and the white-stone portals' ornamentation typical of the Italian Renaissance.

The Archangel`s CathedralThe Archangel`s CathedralThe Archangel`s Cathedral

The decoration of the Archangel Cathedral's facades in the style of Renaissance exercised an appreciable influence over the further life of the Russian architecture and became a received model.

Nowadays, the Archangel Cathedral is a frequented Kremlin’s museum.

It houses 47 tombstones and 2 reliquaries of the dynastic necropolis of Moscow Great Princes and Tsars: Ivan Kalita, Dmitry Donskoy, Ivan III, Ivan the Terrible, tsarevich Dmitriy, Tsars Mikhael and Alexei Romanov were buried here. The first Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible and two his sons are buried in a special tsar's shrine in the altar part of the cathedral.

The cathedral's wall-paintings and 1680-1681 iconostasis are of great interest and value. The icon of Archangel Michael, the oldest in the iconostasis, is believed to have been created thanks to Princess Eudokia, the wife of Dmitry Donskoy, in honour of the Great Prince and his victory in the Battle on the Kulikovo Field. The cathedral's pillars and walls are painted with portraits of Moscow leaders and their glorious ancestors.

The Archangel Cathedral is one of the most popular Kremlin museums. Since 1990s, regular divine services have been recommenced.